Where to have a cow butchered/ processed?
I would like to find someone to butcher a cow, and be absolutely sure that the meat i get back is meat from my own cow. We are raising a very small herd of cattle (only 9) and so far, they have been pets. But now we're ready to reap the rewards and butcher one. These cows have been fed a very healthy diet (no grains, hormones, antibiotics); they are free-ranging; and frankly... spoiled. Therefore, i want to be sure that the butcher doesn't mix up our precious "Norman" with meat from a less happy cow. Thanks for any suggestions!
Give Jim at Richardson Farms a call. He has all his hogs processed locally, I think in Fredericksburg. I'm not sure about cattle. I'd be curious to know what you find, I thought that cattle required more govt regulation and thus harder for a small processor to do, but that is based on what I've read rather than what I know for sure.
For personal consumption, there is no government inspection required - just take it to a licensed processor and you will get your own cow back.
As tummoi stated, the best way to find a good processor would be to ask a small, local producer. Ask any of the meat vendors at the farmers markets, even if they don't sell beef. A processor will generally handle all types of animals. La Grange has a good one, Dutchman's in Fredericksburg is good, and there are several more in the area. Jim Richardson would be a great resource.
Nothing came close to turning me vegetarian, like bottle feeding an orphaned calf daily and then one day while woofing down some homecooking, have my grandma ask, "So, how are those George burgers?" Dang near cried while I finished that tasty piece of beef.